Sherrod Brown Hosting Food Conference in Columbus Wednesday

I can't make this event, but I sure wish I could. Our senator, Sherrod Brown, who serves on the agriculture committee, is hosting a conference called "Ohio Grown: Local Food Creating Local Opportunities.”

His press release says it "will focus on food policies to support Ohio agricultural producers and small businesses" and "address Ohio’s burgeoning local food movement and efforts to shape food policy to benefit local economies."

It takes place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at OSU's Fawcett Center at 2400 Olentangy River Road in Columbus. Registration starts at 8:30. It's free and open to all.

You can read more about the provisions that Brown advocated for putting in the Farm Bill at http://www.brown.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/brown-introduces-bill...

Panel topics at the conference include:

- *Why Local? The Potential of a Local Food Economy*— Panel will explore
how local food fits into the future of Ohio’s economy; creates jobs and
opportunities for both rural and urban Americans; and what it will take to
make sustainable agriculture a viable career and profitable business
opportunity for Ohio farmers.

- *Good Food Financing*—Whether a farm business, a grain mill, a food
hub, or a school, the future of local food must be rooted in sound
economics and viable business models. A panel of finance experts and
practitioners will outline existing funding avenues and share their stories.

- *Making the Local Food Connection*—Panel will feature Ohio and
regional leaders who are involved in institutional purchasing who will
explain how they are tackling the challenges associated with the
aggregation, distribution, and infrastructure of local food.

- *Changing Policy to Support Local Food Economies*—From local zoning
and regional planning to federal food and agriculture laws, policy can help
or hinder continued growth of a local food economy. Some of Ohio’s policy
leaders will discuss their efforts to change policy to support local food
economies.

- *Building on Best Practices and Looking Forward*—Ohioans who are
making local work will share lessons learned, best practices, and lead a
discussion on what it will take to grow Ohio’s local food economy in the
years to come.

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